Free parking in Tendring hailed a success as Brightlingsea, Clacton, Dovercourt and Manningtree report low levels of empty shops
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
Free parking permits for Tendring residents have helped the district’s town centres to keep their shops filled according to the council’s leader.
The latest figures show the towns are avoiding the national decline and holding their own against out of town retailers and online shopping.
Against a national average of 12.3% empty shops, Manningtree has just 2.6% followed by Dovercourt on 4.4%, Brightlingsea on 4.6% and Clacton on 4.7%
Frinton has 4.8% of its shops empty, while Walton is on 10%.
Mick Page, leader of Tendring District Council (TDC) and councillor for regeneration and inward investment, said it was a very important indicator.
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He said: “This is very encouraging for everyone.
“TDC does all that it can to support its town centres and these figures are great for traders, residents and visitors alike.
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“There is a distinct lack of empty premises and we will do all that we can to make sure that continues.”
Mr Page added the council’s policy to provide households in the district with free parking permits to be used in all but two TDC-run car parks has had an effect, combined with free parking for all after 3pm and through until 8am the next morning.
“We know our parking offers have gone very well and businesses feel that they have helped to seriously increase footfall which means more money going through the tills,” he added.
Business rate relief for new firms and a town centre co-ordinator have also played a role in the success.